Ginetta Junior Championship points leader Dino Zamparelli made his long-awaited return to the top step of the podium at Knockhill Circuit in Scotland yesterday morning, Sunday, 17th August, as he won the 17th round of the season from pole position.The Bristol-based driver didn’t have it all his own way though as Daniel Lloyd held the lead of the race until a spin on lap 10 at Butcher’s, followed by a further off on the final tour, ended Lloyd’s podium chances and allowed Zamparelli through. The points leader crossed the line on lap 12 just under 2.7 seconds clear of Josh Hill in the end.Lloyd had earlier been informed he would be given a 10 second time penalty due to what had been deemed a marginal jump-start. Therefore, the Huddersfield teenager knew he had to push as hard as possible to try and make a break at the front to extend his time advantage and lessen the impact of the time penalty.In the end, Zamparelli took the victory – his eighth of the season – from Hill with Thomas Carnaby third, having started an uncharacteristic seventh on the grid following a tricky qualifying session. Dominic Pettit finished in fourth place, Fergus Walkinshaw was fifth and Alex Austin rounded out the top six.Speaking immediately after the race, Zamparelli said: “That was definitely the result I wanted, I’m really, really happy. We’ve had a bit of bad luck lately but I believe in myself and I knew I could come back to the top. It was the best and most fun race I’ve ever had, I hunted (Daniel) Lloyd down and thought I was second but the pit-board said I was first.“I still wanted to push though to get the fastest lap. I applied as much pressure as I could and made Lloyd make a mistake which allowed me to get through to the lead. From there, I was confident we could win the race.”Starting on pole position, Zamparelli didn’t get away as well as Lloyd who made an excellent start – too good the officials would later declare – while George Richardson edged ahead into third ahead of Pettit, Hill slipping back behind Walkinshaw.At the John R Weir Chicane, Pettit made his move to go back into the top three but both ended up off on the grass on the outside, making contact and losing places. It wouldn’t be the last time Richardson was in the wars either.Into lap two, Lloyd led Zamparelli with Walkinshaw up to third, Hill fourth, Pettit fifth and Alice Powell in sixth position. Hill started his fightback through the SEAT Curves but while all the action happened at the front, title contender Carnaby was still down in seventh place. Richardson, meanwhile, was in 10th after his lap one skirmish but on lap four at Real Radio Hairpin he ended up off the circuit again after yet more contact. About the same time, Lloyd’s team received news of his 10 second penalty and so he started to push even harder to try and build an advantage.
On lap eight, Pettit moved into fourth ahead of Walkinshaw at the hairpin but the talking point came on lap 10 when Lloyd had a spin, losing first place to Zamparelli and also slipping down the order. Carnaby, meanwhile, had been making great progress and was now in third place.Into lap 12, Lloyd was sixth on the road but ninth overall on corrected times to include his penalty but the nightmare came at Scotsman Corner when the back end of his car snapped away and he was pitched into a heart-breaking retirement.Along with pole position and the race win, Zamparelli also posted the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1m 03.996 seconds (71.51mph) – almost four 10ths of a second quicker than anyone else.Provisional 2008 Ginetta Junior Championship Positions (after Rd17):1st Dino Zamparelli, 454pts; 2nd Thomas Carnaby, 441pts; 3rd Josh Hill, 344pts; 4th Daniel Lloyd, 291pts; 5th Jake Farndon, 286pts; 6th Dominic Pettit, 283pts.